The wait is the worst. Even with all the weakness in my body, I am a coiled spring. I feel like a linebacker anticipating the first snap of the Super Bowl, except that I would be on my way to the emergency room- or morgue- within moments after the hike. Sports analogies do not suit me well.
I have been waiting for so long, operating in a world absent hope that life can improve, that illness will at least be held at bay. Hope is new and oh, so fragile. I entertain thinking life will be better, only to react, demanding of myself, are you crazy? What are you thing? Or smoking?
I learned a lot about clinical trials in my years on the advisory council of the Harvard NeuroDiscovery Center. This is different because I will be a patient/participant rather than an impartial observer. I had no dog in the fight, once. The dog has become a laboratory rat now, and our identities have merged.
This is short. There is not a lot to say. Millions of stem cells will be infused into my spine soon. It only takes one egg, one sperm, to create a pregnancy. How many stem cells are needed to repair a lesion? Will the cells go to the damaged areas on my spine or stop at the bowling alley for a quick game and a few beets?
I am not a scientist. What do I know? Animal models suggest some positive results, but until live humans produce the same, nothing will happen. So I am straining to start, scared to fail. No amount of conjecture satisfies. Show me something.
This is a grand experiment. I am fortunate to be involved. Whatever the result, I will be grateful for the opportunity. Waiting is part of the process. I know that. The chronically impatient are not well suited to take the field in this contest. I am one of those types. Please do not tell the doctor. He seems to think I am just going with the flow.
Actually, I doubt he thinks that.